How should I apply for a green card after having a name change? 6 Answers as of February 21, 2011

I've recently got married to a US citizen and now I am preparing paperwork for greencard application. I want to have my husband's last name, but I don't know how to proceed. Should I apply for greencard with my maiden name (considering my passport, driver license, ss have my maiden name) or can I write my married name on forms even though I can't change my documents yet? How should I proceed? My visa has expired already so I can't change my driver's license or SS without government authorization, I think. Thanks.

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
You can put your married name on the forms and then show your maiden name where it requests you to provide all other names used. Be prepared to submit documentation to support this but it should be fine. If you are out of the U.S. this may be more difficult as most consulates using the naming system of that country.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/21/2011
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
You need to go to a judge to change your name. Before you can do that, you have to use your current name.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/31/2011
Law Office of Christine Troy
Law Office of Christine Troy | Christine Troy
Congratulations on your marriage. I routinely use a woman's married name on the applications despite having no ID with that name. The green card is then issued in that name. In the meantime, you can ask the DMV and all other agencies to issue new cards by showing your marriage certificate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2011
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
Prepare your document under your new married name. Your work permit will be under your new married name, your SSN and everything else, including the green card. Your marriage certificate can be the document to show the legal change of name. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2011
Law Office of Donna Nanan, PL
Law Office of Donna Nanan, PL | Donna Nanan
Should not be a problem to state both your new name and your maiden name on your application form.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/31/2011
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
    Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
    Look at your marriage certificate closely to see if it provided for a change in your family name after marriage. Here in Massachusetts our marriage certificates provide a line which says family name after marriage where a woman typically lists her husband's family name as the name she will take and use after marriage. This acts as an official document for name change purposes and will be accepted by Immigration if you have something similar in your state when you fill out your green card application. If not, you will either have to go to court to initiate a name change before a judge, or wait until your eligible for naturalization at which stage your are legally entitled to change your name without it costing you anything additional. Even if you name hasn't been legally changed, if you start using your husband's name, you should list this as another name that you use on the forms. You can also try to use this name on the forms, as sometimes USCIS will let it slip by and treat the marriage as an official name change even if you don't have official papers that effect a name change. All they can do is say now, cross out the name you want and put your maiden name on the file and give you a card with that name. Technically the laws of most states allow you to call yourself whatever you want to, however, USCIS typically wants official paperwork to show the change, and will not always accept a marriage certificate as evidence of that name change unless it includes a before and after name.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 1/31/2011
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